High-Tech Wristband Keeps You Cheerful

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Deadline pileups, bad customer service, environmental catastrophes, crazed drivers. The next time something raises your hackles or brings you down, a high-tech wristband could get your mental state back in balance.

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The W/Me wristband was created by the Mountain View startup Phyode, headed by self-described gadget junkies and medical researchers. Instead of simply monitoring behavior like sleep, steps taken or calories burned, the wristband makers say they aim to pick up the wearer’s mood and offer an interactive guide for quickly getting on track.

Each band contains a medical-grade sensor the startup developed called the life spectrum analyzer. Phyode says the components include instrumentation amplifiers, a filter chain, a precision analog-to-digital converter, a patent-pending dry conduction electrode, and a digital signal processor. This allows the device to capture and analyze electrical impulses from special cells in the right atrium, an indicator for your body’s autonomic nervous system.

Measurements are taking by touching and holding the wristband. Then the results are transmitted to an app on the user’s phone. Your mental state gets mapped out showing where you are on the passive, excitable, pessimistic and anxious spectrum. When things are really off, the app’s virtual coach, a “fitness” whale named Attu, guides you through breathing rhythms.

A few weeks ago, the company took its campaign to Kickstarter. And, as GOOD’s Meghan Neal pointed out, the W/Me got fully funded, even though there are 21 days of the $100,000 campaign still left.

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Man, I could really use some technology like this for those times when it feels hard to breathe. Bad driving in particular tends to cause my jaw to clench. Those Phyode guys better prepare for lots of orders from the West because Colorado has a blinker fluid shortage.

Photo: The W/Me device in action. Credit: Phyode video